A Digital Intermediate is a 'replacement' file, ideally with minimal quality loss from the original, that can be worked on in a digital environment. Most movies shot on film will have the analog celluloid laser-scanned into digital files that the editor can then work with on a computer. Digital Cinema originals (RED, Genesis, etc.) do not require the DI step, as the media is already in a digital format that can be used directly.
Cineform files are the equivalent for sometimes hard to edit digital originals, those which have unwisely used some form of temporal compression (HDV, AVCHD, etc). They can be used as 'originals' throughout editing, including final export.
As Jim says, you export directly from the Cineform timeline; no need to replace the Cineform files with the originals.
Cineform is a very small outfit with a relatively large user base, so I wouldn't expect that phone is the best way to contact them. Everything you need to know about their products can be found at their website, which contains their tech blog and links to the sub-forum they maintain over at DVInfo.
"As Jim says, you export directly from the CineForm timeline; no need to replace the Cineform files with the originals."
I appreciate the confirmation. The Cineform stand-alone converter indicated that the file format was not supported. But... I successfully exported the file I needed from After Effects as an AVI using the CineForm codec.
"Cineform is a very small outfit with a relatively large user base, so I wouldn't expect that phone is the best way to contact them."
The company I work for is small with a large customer base. We answer our phones. By including our phone# on our Website, as CineForm does, we expect/hope to get phone calls.
"Everything you need to know about their products can be found at their website, which contains their tech blog and links to the sub-forum they maintain over at DVInfo."
Perhaps. Personally, I think their Website has a lot of room for improvement, especially when they charge $1000 for this rather basic looking program. I suppose that's what niche markets are all about. Anyway, the question I asked here is so basic, perhaps CineForm just assumes everyone is familiar with the nature of a video file format referred to as an "Intermediate".
The beauty of this forum is, I got an answer to my question in just 5 minutes.
Thanks Jim, and thanks again for the confirmation, acgold777.
We downloaded the trial of Cineform Neo4k and installed it on one of our editing systems. I converted a 2560 x 540 file encoded in the "Animation" codec to the CineForm Neo4k codec. It played back much smoother from the timeline in a test sequence than the QuickTime file did. So... I installed the trial of Neo4k on our system that has the actual project we are working on and batch converted all of the QuickTime files to the Cineform Neo4k codec in an avi wrapper.
I found 3 layers of QuickTimes on the timeline of the actual project and did a "Reveal in Project", then replaced the 3 QT clips in the "Bin" using the "Replace Footage" command.
Now when the CTI hits the 3 Cineform Neo4k clips on the timeline, the CTI stops, the video freezes, the audio continues to play and Premiere crashes.
Obviously it's the Cineform clips. I'm wondering if there were some files originally associated with the original QuickTimes on the timeline that need to get deleted because Premiere is associating those files with the new Cineform files?
A guy in another forum appears to be having the identical problem... CS5, footage replaced with Cineform encoded files on the timeline using the "Replace Footage" command.
My thinking is, either it's a bug CineForm needs to deal with, or I need to delete some files that were formerly associated with the original QuickTimes that were originally on the timeline.
Sounds like a support issue. If you file a support ticket through their website, I think you'll find they are incredibly responsive.
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I only partially followed the thread above (and most likely may have missed something) but your MAC guy can probably output the intermediate files in ProRes.
I have found this to be very successful as an intermediate in a MAC / Windows cross platform workflow.
Might be worth a test.
Thanks, I will check that out. I believe Taylor, our Mac guy said the 1920 x 1080 files the Canon 7D camera spit out are QuickTimes in the h.264 format.
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I don't know that ProRes will work in Chuck's case, due to the non-standard dimensions to which he is exporting. ProRes (and other similar codecs, like Avid's DNxHD) are limited to the typical broadcast resolutions, like 1280x720, 1440x1080, and 1920x1080, so unless you split the export into smaller dimensions and then put it back together in the editor, they wouldn't work. In the end, that would probably be worse anyway, since you'd be calling multiple streams instead of just one.
What about a proxy workflow? For example, instead of just the Animation version, also spit out an MJPEG version that's pretty highly compressed, and edit with that. When the time comes, just take the proxies offline and reconnect to the full-resolution versions for export. Just a thought...
I posted this issue in another forum alongside someone else having the same issue. David Newman of CineForm posted this temporary solution last night:
Sponsor: CTO, CineForm Inc.
We have found this playback freeze and are working on the best solution now (we have one that works, working on an cleaner solution for this next release -- 5.0.3 is waiting for it.)
This works. Replace
C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Premiere Pro CS5\Plug-ins\Common\CineForm\CFHD_AVI_Importer.prm
with the contents of:
David Newman -- web:
blog: cineform.blogspot.com -- twitter: twitter.com/David_Newman
The Cineform fix worked to a degree. When I open After Effects, I get a CineForm Plugin error. The error doesn't seem to affect exporting a QT file that was encoded with the "Animation Codec" to the Cineform avi format though.
Individual CineForm files do playback better from the timeline, but this particular project just has too much going on. Wouldn't have even been possible to edit this on our earlier system in CS4.